The Human Development Index Literacy (HDIL) theory was developed in 2011 to eliminate or minimise the negative impact of issues underlying the failure of previous literacy programmes in promoting socio-economic development. This theory was tested for the first time between July 2013 and February 2014 in two rural communities of Botswana. A seven-item self-report inventory was developed for the purpose of recording the perceptions of 80 participants in regards to development issues, before and after training on a special literacy programme known as the Human Development Index Literacy; student's t-test was employed in testing the significance of difference between pre and post HDIL treatment scores in both communities. The findings threw up unexpected pieces of information relating to rural populace perceptions concerning the concept of development as regard justification for retaining cultural practices, craving for capital formation and other issues. The findings equally revealed that the Human Development Index Literacy theory has the potential to promote socio-economic development using the instrumentality of literacy. This is because the differences between post-HDIL treatment scores were found to be significantly higher than pre-HDIL treatment scores in both communities (p=0.05) and participants actively sought ways of improving their own standard of living. This paper consequently recommends that governments of developing countries should encourage the development and commercialisation of indigenous knowledges and the adoption of the Human Development Index Literacy theory for purposes of development work.